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Automotive Mechanical and Specialisation

Overview

This page provides information and data on Automotive Mechanical Specialisation, which is one component of the Automotive industry.

The Automotive Mechanical and Specialisation sector provides light vehicles with service, diagnostic and repair work. The sector also conducts work on:

  • Engine repairs
  • Muffler, brake and exhaust repairs
  • Brake and exhaust repairs
  • Transmission repairs
  • LPG conversions
  • Other repairs.

Nationally recognised training for the Automotive Mechanical Specialisation industry sector is delivered under the AUR – Automotive Industry Retail, Service and Repair Training Package.

For information on other automotive related industry sectors, visit the Automotive cluster page.

All data sources are available at the end of the page.

Employment trends

Employment snapshot

The main industry class related to the Automotive Mechanical and Specialisation industry sector is Other Automotive Repair and Maintenance. 

Please note however that this industry class also covers other activities besides work relevant to the Automotive Mechanical and Specialisation sector, so the numbers shown here should be seen as indicative only. 

According to the 2016 census data, there were 65,673 people employed in Other Automotive Repair and Maintenance compared with 59,603 in 2011. The main employing occupation in this sector is Motor Mechanics, and in 2016 this occupation formed a little under 60% of employment in this sector. Employment in this occupation is expected to decrease slightly up to 2025.

Occupations in this industry class that are also relevant to the Automotive Mechanical and Specialisation sector are Motor Vehicle Parts and Accessories Fitters, and Other Miscellaneous Labourers (the Mechanic’s Assistant component) but only form a small component of this industry class. While employment for Other Miscellaneous Labourers is projected to increase by around 9% up until 2025, employment as Motor Vehicle Parts and Accessories Fitters is expected to remain fairly steady.

Training trends

Training snapshot

Program enrolments in Automotive and Mechanical Specialisation-related qualifications increased from approximately 23,780 in 2019 to 24,590 in 2020. Program completions have decreased from around 5,970 to roughly 5,760 in the same period.

In 2020, most of the qualification enrolments were at certificate III level (96%) with 94% of the enrolments in the qualification cluster of Light Vehicle/Automotive Mechanical Technology. The main intended occupation for the qualification was Motor Mechanic (General).

The delivery of training in 2020 was mainly split between private training providers (60%) and TAFE institutes (35%). Overall, 50% of subjects in Automotive and Mechanical Specialisation-related qualifications were international fee-for service, with Commonwealth and state funded accounting for 39%.

The highest proportion of program enrolments in 2020 for this sector was by students from overseas (37%), followed by students residing in New South Wales (19%), Queensland (16%) and Victoria (15%). Over a third of training was delivered in Victoria (34%), followed by 25% in New South Wales and 21% in Queensland.

Apprenticeship and traineeship commencements and completions have decreased overall between 2011 and 2020. Commencements declined from roughly 4,680 in 2019 to around 4,480 in 2020. Completions also decreased between 2019 and 2020 (approximately 2,600 and 2,390 respectively). The main intended occupation for the apprenticeships and traineeships was Motor Mechanic (General). Nearly one third of training was reported by New South Wales (32%), followed by Queensland (24%) and Victoria (22%).

For more data specific to your occupation, industry group or training package, visit NCVER’s Data Builder.

For more data specific to your region visit NCVER’s Atlas of Total VET.

If you are interested in extracting NCVER data to construct tables with data relevant to you, sign up for a VOCSTATS account.

Industry insights

Industry insights on skills needs

The Automotive IRC’s 2019 Skills Forecast ranks a list of generic skills in order of importance for each industry sector. The top five ranked generic skills for the Light Vehicle sector (which includes Automotive Mechanical and Specialisation) are:

  • Technology use and application
  • Language, literacy and numeracy (LLN)
  • Design mindset/Thinking critically/System thinking/Solving problems
  • Science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM)
  • Communication/Collaboration including virtual collaboration/Social intelligence.

There is significant skill demand for fault diagnosis and mechanical and electrical repair of modern vehicle systems, including semi-automatic driving technologies such as park assist, lane departure warning and autonomous emergency braking. As a result, the Automotive IRC’s 2019 Skills Forecast highlights that the technical skills required to keep pace with constantly changing and evolving technology is a key focus area for the sector. In addition, as motor vehicles are becoming more advanced, the diagnostic equipment used to maintain them does as well, leading to more sophisticated service and repair roles. It is expected that the rate of technological advancement in the Automotive industry will be faster than ever before in coming years, meaning the workforce will have to continually up-skill and re-skill to remain up to date with the latest technology in motor vehicles.

The description of work undertaken for Project Light vehicle underbody, exhaust and braking systems, steering and suspension systems, tyre servicing, and electrical technologies in the AUR Automotive Retail, Service and Repair Training Package Case for Endorsement includes:

  • The interdependent and interconnected systems in vehicles have become increasingly common. As a result, there is a blurring of distinctions between existing automotive electrician and light vehicle mechanical technician job roles, and technicians are increasingly expected to understand electronic systems and references to manufacturer specifications and procedures. The project has involved updating all ‘Diagnose and repair’ units of competency to ensure that skills and knowledge involving methods of gathering and assessing diagnostic information, interpretation of manufacturer procedures, and identifying fault symptoms and causes are being reflected. Specific obsolete technologies such as Kettering ignition systems have been identified for removal from the training package, and core electrical units of competency in AUR30616 Certificate III in Light Vehicle Mechanical Technology have been updated to support the development of electrical skills.
  • Industry identified that the qualifications relating to tyre fitting and management job roles was needed, particularly that a broader scope of tasks was now required in tyre fitting workplaces, such as the ability to carry out wheel alignments and inspect the quality of tyres. The project reviewed and updated core and elective bank of the AUR21916 Certificate II in Automotive Tyre Servicing Technology to reflect the importance of these skills.
  • The AUR Certificate IIs have been identified for review as a result of the industry need to correct the skills gap in basic diagnostic skills across entry-level qualifications. Furthermore, various technological advancements in industry, such as the increasing prevalence of hybrid and battery electric vehicles, have changed skill requirements across the Certificate II qualifications to the extent that specialist job roles associated with some of the qualifications, such as in exhaust system modification, are no longer required. This project proposes restructures to the core and elective banks of Certificate II qualifications in order increase their flexibility for use by multiple industry sectors, and the creation of specialist elective groups in these qualifications to develop the required skills and knowledge for these sectors. Certificates tied to obsolete job roles in braking and exhaust system servicing have been proposed for deletion. Certificates tied to obsolete job roles in braking and exhaust system servicing were proposed for deletion.

The Skills Priority List includes Motor Mechanic (General), and Diesel Motor Mechanic under occupations in national shortage, with moderate future demand. Occupations not in national shortage, with strong future demand include Motor Vehicle Parts and Accessories Fitter (General), Exhaust and Muffler Repairer, Radiator Repairer, and Tyre Fitter. The Victorian Automobile Chamber of Commerce (VACC) modelled the extent of skill shortages across the automotive industry by sector at a national level for their Recommended JobTrainer Fund Qualifications submission. For occupations relating to the Mechanical and Specialisation subsector, the submission includes estimated shortages of light vehicle mechanics (14,750 positions), Engine re-conditioners (110 positions), Motor vehicle parts and accessories salesperson, tyre fitters (810 positions). The Australian Automotive Dealer Association (AADA) Skills Shortage Survey 2021 found almost every new car dealer is suffering from a shortage of skilled technicians in their workshops and a majority of Dealers are trying to take on more apprentices and/or up-skill or cross-skill their existing staff.

Links and resources

Below is a list of industry-relevant research, organisations and associations. Hyperlinks have been included where available.

 

IRC and skills forecasts

Automotive Light Vehicle Industry Reference Committee

 

Relevant research

AUR Automotive Retail, Service and Repair Training Package Case for Endorsement – PwC’s Skills for Australia

Recommended JobTrainer Fund Qualifications – Victorian Automobile Chamber of Commerce (VACC)

Skills Priority List – National Skills Commission

Skills Shortage Survey 2021 – Australian Automotive Dealer Association

 

Industry associations and advisory bodies

Association of Australasian Diesel Specialists Inc (AADS)

Australian Association of Progressive Repairers

Australian Motor Body Repairers Association (AMBRA)

Australian Tyre Dealers and Retreaders Association

Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries

Institute of Accident Assessors (IAA)

Institute of Automotive Mechanical Engineers (IAME)

Motor Trades Association of Australia (MTAA)

Society of Automotive Engineers Australasia (SAE-A)

 

Employee associations

Australian Manufacturing Workers Union

Data sources and notes

Department of Employment 2021, Employment Projections, available from the Labour Market Information Portal  

  • by ANZSCO, selected occupations, employment projections to May 2025
    • 3212 Motor Mechanics
    • 8994 Motor Vehicle Parts and Accessories Fitters
    • 8999 Other Miscellaneous Labourers.

Australian Bureau of Statistics 2017, 2016 Census – employment, income and unpaid work, 2006 Census –labour force TableBuilder. Findings based on use of ABS TableBuilder data.

  • Employment level by 4 digit ANZSIC
    • 9419 Other Automotive Repair and Maintenance.
  • by ANZSCO, selected occupations
    • 3212 Motor Mechanics
    • 8994 Motor Vehicle Parts and Accessories Fitters
    • 8999 Other Miscellaneous Labourers.

Training data has been extracted from the National VET Provider Collection, Total VET Students and Courses from the following training package or qualifications:

  • AUR Automotive Retail, Service and Repair Training Package.
  • Automotive Cylinder Head Reconditioning
    • AUR21512 - Certificate II in Automotive Cylinder Head Reconditioning
    • AUR21516 - Certificate II in Automotive Cylinder Head Reconditioning
    • AUR21520 - Certificate II in Automotive Cylinder Head Reconditioning.
  • Automotive Tyre Service Technology
    • AUR21912 - Certificate II in Automotive Tyre Servicing Technology
    • AUR21913 - Certificate II in Automotive Tyre Servicing Technology
    • AUR21916 - Certificate II in Automotive Tyre Servicing Technology
    • AUR21920 - Certificate II in Automotive Tyre Servicing Technology.
  • Automotive Underbody Technology
    • AUR21212 - Certificate II in Automotive Underbody Technology
    • AUR21216 - Certificate II in Automotive Underbody Technology
    • AUR21220 - Certificate II in Automotive Underbody Technology
    • AUR32512 - Certificate III in Automotive Underbody Technology
    • AUR32516 - Certificate III in Automotive Underbody Technology
    • AUR32518 - Certificate III in Automotive Underbody Technology.
  • Light Vehicle/ Automotive Mechanical Technology
    • AUR30405 - Certificate III in Automotive Mechanical Technology
    • AUR30612 - Certificate III in Light Vehicle Mechanical Technology
    • AUR30616 - Certificate III in Light Vehicle Mechanical Technology
    • AUR30620 - Certificate III in Light Vehicle Mechanical Technology.
  • Other Automotive Mechanical and Specialisation Qualifications
    • AUR20705 - Certificate II in Automotive Mechanical
    • AUR21005 - Certificate II in Motorsport
    • AUR21011 - Certificate II in Motorsport
    • AUR21012 - Certificate II in Motorsport Technology
    • AUR21016 - Certificate II in Motor Sport Technology
    • AUR21020 - Certificate II in Motor Sport Technology
    • AUR21312 - Certificate II in Automotive Braking System Technology
    • AUR21316 - Certificate II in Automotive Braking System Technology
    • AUR21412 - Certificate II in Automotive Cooling System Technology
    • AUR21416 - Certificate II in Automotive Cooling System Technology
    • AUR21612 - Certificate II in Automotive Driveline System Technology
    • AUR21616 - Certificate II in Automotive Driveline System Technology
    • AUR21712 - Certificate II in Automotive Exhaust System Technology
    • AUR21716 - Certificate II in Automotive Exhaust System Technology
    • AUR21812 - Certificate II in Automotive Steering and Suspension System Technology
    • AUR21816 - Certificate II in Automotive Steering and Suspension System Technology
    • AUR21820 - Certificate II in Automotive Steering and Suspension System Technology
    • AUR23402 - Certificate II in Automotive (Motorsport)
    • AUR30911 - Certificate III in Motorsport
    • AUR30912 - Certificate III in Motorsport Technology
    • AUR30916 - Certificate III in Motor Sport Technology
    • AUR30920 - Certificate III in Motor Sport Technology
    • AUR31099 - Certificate III in Automotive (Mechanical - Light Vehicle)
    • AUR31311 - Certificate III in Automotive Engine Reconditioning
    • AUR31312 - Certificate III in Automotive Engine Reconditioning
    • AUR31316 - Certificate III in Automotive Engine Reconditioning
    • AUR31612 - Certificate III in Automotive Drivetrain Technology
    • AUR31616 - Certificate III in Automotive Drivetrain Technology
    • AUR32012 - Certificate III in Automotive Alternative Fuel Technology
    • AUR32016 - Certificate III in Automotive Alternative Fuel Technology
    • AUR32402 - Certificate II in Automotive (Motorsport)
    • AUR32602 - Certificate III in Automotive (Motorsport)
    • AUR40202 - Certificate IV in Automotive (Motorsport)
    • AUR40302 - Certificate IV in Automotive (Performance Enhancement)
    • AUR40305 - Certificate IV in Motorsport
    • AUR40312 - Certificate IV in Motorsport Technology
    • AUR40316 - Certificate IV in Motor Sport Technology
    • AUR40320 - Certificate IV in Motor Sport Technology
    • AUR40405 - Certificate IV in Automotive Performance Enhancement
    • AUR40412 - Certificate IV in Automotive Performance Enhancement
    • AUR40416 - Certificate IV in Automotive Performance Enhancement
    • AUR50202 - Diploma of Automotive (Motorsport)
    • AUR50305 - Diploma of Motorsport
    • AUR50312 - Diploma of Motorsport Technology

AUR50316 - Diploma of Motor Sport Technology.

This includes superseded qualifications and training packages.

Data covers a range of selected student and training characteristics in the following categories and years:

  • 2016 to 2020 program enrolments
  • 2016 to 2020 program completions.

Total VET students and courses data is reported for the calendar year. Program enrolments are the qualifications, courses and skill-sets in which students are enrolled in a given period. For students enrolled in multiple programs, all programs are counted. Program completion indicates that a student has completed a structured and integrated program of education or training. Location data uses student residence. Subject enrolment is registration of a student at a training delivery location for the purpose of undertaking a module, unit of competency or subject. For more information on the terms and definitions, please refer to the Total VET students and courses: terms and definitions document. 

Low counts (less than 5) are not reported to protect client confidentiality.

Percentages are rounded to one decimal place. This can lead to situations where the total sum of proportions in a chart may not add up to exactly 100%.

AUR Automotive Retail, Service and Repair Training Package apprentice and trainee data has been extracted from the National Apprentice and Trainee Collection, including:

  • 2011 to 2020 commencements
  • 2011 to 2020 completions
  • apprentices and trainees in-training October to December 2020 collection, by qualification and state and territory of data submitter.
Updated: 19 Jan 2022
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